Israel-Palestine conflict for a layman’s understanding
by Jaafar Siddiqui
The future of Palestine-Israel relationship remains misty.
Israel-Palestine Violence and conflict dates back to 100 years, when Britain took control of Palestine after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in world war one, who used to rule the region back then. The Palestinian land consisted of Arab majority and Jewish minority.
Israel first or Palestine first?
Tension grew between the two parties as Britain was given a task by the international community to establish a “national home” in Palestine for Jewish people. The number of Jews arriving in the region also increased due to the persecution of Jews in Europe after the Holocaust which took place during world war two between 1920s and 1940s.
The land of Palestine has been claimed as a homeland by both the parties living on the land, Arabs claim that they have been living in the land for ages and their ancestors were inhabitants of the land, and Palestine existed before Israel came into existence while blaming Israel for suppressing the voices of Palestinian people through various techniques including censorship and internet shutdowns.
“Israel has established an apartheid regime across this territory. It has not done single-handedly, but with the complicity and protection of social media platforms, who have the choice to do the otherwise”, says Mariam Barghouti, a Palestinian rights activist, writer and researcher.
Whereas people from the Jewish community claim that their story and history dates back to four thousand years. “The land of Judea which was conquered by the Romans and majority of the Jewish people were displaced at the time but there was no point in history where there were no Jewish on the land of Palestine”, says Rudy Rochman, an Israeli-Jewish rights activist.
The major event that took place in the history of the region was 1947, when the United Nations voted for Palestine to split it into separate Jewish and Arab entities, but the plan didn’t work out and in 1948 British rulers left the region and the Jewish leaders at that time declared the creation of Israeli state.
Nakba and the recent conflict
And then happened AL-NAKBA, the ‘catastrophe’ as the formation of Israeli state wasn’t agreed upon by Palestinians and Arab nations, this disagreement triggered the war forcing hundreds of Palestinians out of their homes. By the end of the war, Israel occupied most of the land, including the Jordan-occupied Palestine which is now known as West Bank.
The region remains disturbed till today, the most recent and the ongoing conflict commenced on May 2021. On 6 May Palestinians in East Jerusalem protested against the decision of Israel’s Supreme court on the eviction of six Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah. On 10 May, Israeli police stormed al-Aqsa, injuring 300 Palestinians and 21 Israeli police. According to the Red Crescent, 250 Palestinians were hospitalized for injuries and seven were in critical condition.
Palestinians claim that this is an act of war crime and ethnic cleansing. “Displacement is a war crime and the Israeli Occupation has no legitimate jurisdiction over us under international law”, tweeted Muhammad El Kurd, a Palestinian activist.
On the contrary, Israeli officials say the Sheikh Jarrah issue is just “a real estate dispute”, and the settlers have the law on their side. “So, you know we have a property dispute that has been conflated into a political dispute in order to invent a provocation”, says Fleur Hassan-Nahoum, Jerusalem’s deputy mayor.
The ceasefire was announced on the 20th of May, but the conflict of land continues. Recent conflict has caused hefty loss of life and property, where more than 250 Palestinians were killed because of Israeli airstrikes, and at least 12 were killed in Israel, as Hamas and other extremist groups, unleashed rocket attacks.
As the conflict continues, the future of Palestine-Israel relationship remains misty, and the Palestinians continue protesting for their rights and lands. Israel-Palestine are still quite far from finding a solution, but one thing which Palestine and Israel really need to consider is work on building up conversations and relationship to establish peace and stability in the region.
Jaafar Siddiqui earned Bachelors in Journalism from the University of Hertfordshire — United Kingdom. He writes for The Milli Chronicle on Business, Politics, and Culture.